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Just say NO to Formula Company Diaper Bags

By Denise Punger MD IBCLC


Formula company diaper bags are durable, cute, insulated, and just the right size for diapers, rags, change of clothes, wallet, and sun glasses and they are free.

But, they are dangerous for the mom who wants to breastfeed: even the one called "Breastfeeding Success Pack." First, they contain ready-made formula in bottles. All you have to do for the first serving is screw on the nipple, feed the baby, and toss it out when you are done. Easy. No powder to mix, no water to sterilize, no measuring, no washing. This is very tempting to use when nursing isnt going so well and you are exhausted. After having 4oz. poured into their tiny tummies, your baby is full from the heavy meal and sleeps for the longest stretch. Everyone is happy. Parents get rest, too. Bottle-feeding seems easy Until you get engourged. After a few days of supplements your milk supply dwindles. Then. you can say, I tried to breastfeed, but I got mastitis or couldnt make enough milk to keep my baby happy. Now you can spend about $1000.00 the first year on formula and bottles that need to be prepared, measured, heated, washed, and stored.

Next, when you have breastfeeding questions, who are you going to go to for help? The office/hospital that gave you that bag? How do you think they got those bags to begin with? By spending time talking to the formula detail rep who wants to sell his product. The reps priority is not to promote breastfeeding. It is to convince the consumer that formula is equivelent to breastmilk, to make breastfeeding sound complicated and a good choice when nursing isnt going well. So, when you ask for breastfeeding advice consider the source.

Okay, say you are committed to breastfeeding and tossed out the formula and just want to use that bunny bag because it is so cute and will keep your water cool. This is a contradiction. As a breastfeeding mother, you are advertising for formula. You are glamourizing the formula industry. These bags are a successful marketing strategy to get you to do their work: Advertise for breastmilk substitutes. These companies know you will use that bag for two years or more. Look and notice all the mothers using one of those bags. You will carry that bag everywhere you go. Other people view you, with your bag, and percieve bottle-feeding as normal. When you were pregnant did you noticed a mom with a bunny bag and say to yourself, "Will I get one of those, so I wont have to buy one? They are so cute."

Do not let yourself be tempted to bottle-feed or sucked into advertising for formula manufacturers." So when you are handed one of these promotional just say NO.

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Denise Punger MD FAAFP IBCLC
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Copyright 2005